This side or the other

I can see something lying on the shore ahead. What is it… some seaweed, plastic? It looks more like a fish. As I get close, I can’t believe my eyes. It’s a beautiful, black creature with a white belly. A kind of dolphin??? There’s a big gaping hole where her left eye used to be and she’s covered in blood. What am I supposed to do? It’s 8.15 on a Sunday morning. I’ve got the number for the First Aid for Sea Mammals, but it’s a mobile number and I don’t feel like waking someone up, so I decide to give Animal Rescue services a try. Luckily, someone’s there. She tells me it must a harbour porpoise and they’ll come pick her up. Is there anything I can do, I ask? Can you move her to a beach entrance, she says? Sure thing. But it’s easier said than done. She’s heavy and all the blood is making me queasy. In the end, I decide to wave down a jogger and just ask for help. Together we wrap her up in my towel and carry her across the beach. When we lay her down, I can feel her against my skin – all soft and velvety. Nothing to do now but to walk home, the bloody towel feeling heavy in my hands.

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